Marching Orders


It’s a short distance between realizing that we are branches on Jesus’ vine and looking down on others because they might not be.

“I know, I know. We are Your chosen people. But, once in a while, can't You choose someone else?” - Tevye to God in Fiddler on the Roof

In most situations, I like being chosen. I love the fact that Libby, my wife, chose me over all the guys that were chasing her at the time. I loved that feeling in elementary school when we were picking teams and one of the best players would take a chance on me. “Briscoe! Over here!”

Yeah, being chosen is a pretty cool thing. It is a privileged position, and sometimes we can start to get a little full of ourselves, particularly as Christians. It’s a short distance between realizing that we are branches in Jesus’ vine and looking down on others because they might not be. As Jesus continued His teaching about the vine and the branches, He gave the disciples a little attitude check right then and there:

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last,” (John 15:16).

Remaining “in Christ” gives us the privilege of bearing the fruit of joy, sacrificial love, and inside information. It also comes with the responsibility of marching orders.

He appointed us, He chose us for a reason, and He appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. We were set aside and we were sent forth. Christ will use us as conduits of His love to reach others with His grace. So, it’s not okay for us just to say, “You know what? I’m just going to abide in Jesus! I don’t need anybody else and nobody else needs me.” We abide in Jesus in the context of community. 

It’s also not okay for us as the Church to ever say, “Well, we’re just going to abide in Jesus together.” NO, we are commissioned to bear the fruit of love and joy so that we can make a difference in our community to people who don’t have that yet. Yes, we have insider info, but Jesus wants us to live and share that info with the world. As we go out to them on the mission that He has given to us, we will see people coming to know Christ as a result of Christ living His life through us… a fruit that will last forever.

Lord of the Harvest, search my heart and show me if there are any hurtful ways in me. Reveal any sense of pride and arrogance that I have let creep in because You chose me. I want to fix my eyes on You, and see beyond myself to the community of believers You have placed around me.  I want to step out in faith with the marching orders that You have given us to produce an eternally lasting fruit. I’m willing to till up hard soil, or plant seeds, or water, or to be a part of the harvest itself. I humbly lay myself before You as a tool to be used in Your hands to reach this world as You see fit. To Your name be the glory!

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